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Cutting steel plate

metal cutting

Cutting steel plate requires a lot of precision and expertise, doing it at home is still possible but the costs are extremely high. The costs are high because the tools required in cutting them are expensive. Talking about the tools required, you will need an angle grinder and an abrasive slicer, both require a lot of years to use properly. Please be aware that although this article tells you how to go about cutting a steel plate, it doesn’t advice you to do so unless you are a trained professional.

  1. It is important to have a strong foundation over which the steel plate can be placed. Most experts suggest that the use of plywood, since it is both sturdy and quite easy to obtain. Place the plywood on the floor and then place the steel plate over it.
  2. The first thing to do before cutting the steel plate is to mark the measurements accurately. For marking the steel plate, use soapstone on the exposed part of the steel. Make sure that the markings are visible and as mentioned before, as accurate as possible.
  3. It is important to make safety your number one priority, so before beginning to cut the steel; make sure to keep all inflammable products away and keep a fire-extinguisher close by to use in the case of an emergency.
  4. Wear protective goggles and gloves before using any of the equipment; it would be better if you used clothing to wear that can’t be easily melted. So having a pair of workshop trousers and a workshop shirt is a good idea.goggle
  5. Attach the 4 ½-inch-diameter slicers to a 4 ½-inch angle grinder, and before proceeding wear a face shield; so that no harm occurs to you during the cutting process.
  6. Start the angle grinder and slowly place at the start of the soapstone mark and move it along its path. Ensure to keep going back and forth along the soapstone mark until the steel plate is severed. Do the whole process as slow as possible to score the surface. After the process has been completed, wait in the room for about 30 minutes to ensure that no safety hazard takes places.
  7. As a final step, use a file over the steel surface to remove irregular protrusions that may have occurred due to the abrasive nature of the slicer blade.

These steps will help you make curved and straight cuts on your steel plate.

Different Techniques Employed in Cutting Iron

Techniques Employed in Cutting Iron

Iron is the 4th largest available source in the crust of the earth. All metals are found along in raw form when they are extracted first and 90% of metals today are iron before they are refined.  The iron that is available in the crust of the earth is very pivotal for the ecosystem that comprises of plants, animals, and human beings. Here we would love to bring to your notice that the words iron and steel are at times interchangeably used. However, they are not same. Iron is an element whereas steel is an alloy that comprises of iron and carbon. Iron takes the major portion of this alloy.

The purest form of iron is unobtainable as it is relatively soft and molding becomes tough. That is why it is used in other forms that alloys such as cast iron, steel, etc.  When it comes to cast-iron and steel, most people believe that steel is stronger than cast iron, but the truth is the other way round. Cast iron is stronger than steel. So here we are going to see some of the techniques that are used in cutting iron.

Techniques Employed in Cutting Iron

Iron Cutting Techniques:

The technique that is employed to cut any metal depends on the output that is required. This concept goes for iron as well. So the following are the iron cutting techniques that are used to cut iron, let us begin with the latest version:

  • By using machinery
  • By using hand tools
  • Laser Cutting:

Laser Cutting:

Laser Cutting is relatively the latest method in cutting technology that is used to cut metal. The word laser is enough to explain the process that iron goes through. In laser method, there is a beam of light that passes through the metal and bifurcates the metal into pieces. So these light beams are at a heat that is beyond the melting point of the metal. So as soon as the light gets in contact with the surface of the metal, the metal surface is cut. Laser technique is applied when other conventional techniques fail to produce the desired results.

By using machinery:

The second method to cut iron is by using machinery. These are somewhere in between the laser technology and simple tools that are used to cut iron. This technique is further classified under the heads: Grinder, Lathe, Punch, Water Jet, Flame, and Plasma. Depending on how smooth the surface of the cut iron is expected, one among the above-stated methods is used to cut iron.

By using hand tools:

This is the simplest of all techniques that are used to cut. The technique of using hand tools to cut iron is used when the iron objects are relatively small. This is because when iron pieces are small using heavy machinery or laser techniques to cut them mush distort the whole iron since small pieces cannot take so much of pressure. So here hand tools like hand shears and hacksaws are used to cut iron.

Top Steel-Producing Companies in the World

Steel-Producing Companies

As of 2015, official reports state that a total of 1599.5 million metric tonnes of steel were produced across the world. As per the financial reports produced by the leading companies, statistics reveal that China is the global leader as far as steel producing is concerned.  Based on the tonnage that was produced in the financial year 2016 – 17 the following are the top 5 companies that rule the global market as far as steel manufacturing is concerned.

Steel-Producing Companies

Top 5 Steel producing-companies:

Arcelor Mittal:

ArcelorMittal is concerned as the global leader in Steel as per reports of both the years 2015 and 2016. Arcelor is a Luxembourg based company that was taken over by Mittal Steel in the year 2006, and since then it is recognized under the banner ArcelorMittal. This one banner alone is responsible for producing 10% of the total steel production that happens in the world.  There are more than 1,90,000 employees employed in ArcelorMittal worldwide. They function in different countries, and the unit in China is considered as the largest producer. The net revenue of the company for the year 2016 is US$ 1.77 Billion.

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMC):

NSSMC is the second largest steel manufacturing company in the world. NSSMC is a result of the merger that took place between two major giants of the steel industry. They are Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation. The merger took place in the year 2012. A company came together barely four years ago are making wonders in the steel industry. Since 2012 there has always been an upward trend for the company both in the consumer market as well as stock market. The company is headquartered in Japan, and the net revenue of the company as of 2012 is US$ 37 Million.

HeSteel Group:

HeSteel Group is also known as Hebei Iron and Steel Group which the third largest steel producer in the world. The company was founded in the year 2008 and is headquartered at Hebei, China. The company has risen to this position in a span of 9 years, which is quite notable. Though there was a dip in the year 2015, it still managed to get a position for itself in the top 3 steel producing companies across the globe.


Baosteel is also known as China Baowu Steel Group. It produces around 35 million tons annually and is the fourth largest producer of steel in the world. Baosteel merged with another company, Wuhan Iron and Steel Group in the year 2016. It is a public company run by the Chinese government. Since this is again a Chinese company, the dominance of the Chinese government in the steel industry has become inevitable. It has some bitter experiences in the Asian Market. However, the company showed an upward trend in places like Korea and other notable Arabian countries.


POSCO is again a steel manufacturing unit that is considered as the nest largest steel manufacturing companies across the globe. The term POSCO stands for Pohang Iron and Steel Company. It works with US Steel in joint venture type of ownership. POSCO is also listed as one among the Fortune 500 companies in the year 2012. It gives an output of 42 Million tonnes of steel.

How is Iron Industrially Made?

Iron Industrially Made

Iron is one of the widely used and largely available materials on earth. There are a lot of ways in which iron is used in our everyday life. It is used extensively for various purposes in both the domestic and industrial sectors. However, iron cannot be used in the raw form, the way in which it is extracted from the earth. The purest form of iron is not malleable enough to be pressed, hammered and processed. Thereby iron ore has to go through a lot of stages. In such process, the iron ore is purified and made fit for usage by adding another element in the appropriate ratio.

Most of the metals that we use today are iron in their raw form. They are processed, and at different degrees, they turn into different metals. Since it is one of the hardest materials available in large quantities, they are used in large scale. Ancient Egyptians were the first people to use iron. Carbon is one of the most common elements that is combined with iron to make it a stronger metal.

Iron Industrially Made

Industrial process:

Having gained the basic idea of how iron works as a metal, let’s get to know how they are industrially processed:

To make things more vivid let us start from the scratch.

1.       Extraction and Purification:

Before processing the metal, there are two stages, the extraction, and purification. In the extraction process that the iron ore is extracted through mining using heavy that could penetrate the surface of the earth and extract the iron ore. The next stage id refining the iron ore that is extracted in most of the cases if the iron ore that is extracted is of good quality then the ore shall contain about 60% of useable iron. Different methods are available under the refining process such as magnetic separation, pelletizing, crushing and washing.

2.       Manufacturing process:

  • Charging the blast furnace:

As it is stated earlier, the iron ore has to go with another ore to make sure that is malleable and strong enough to be processed further. This can be done only by heating up the metals and processing them through the furnace machine. This is the basic process in any iron industry. The iron ore inside the furnace reacts with the carbon monoxide that is present inside, and the resultant products are pure iron and carbon dioxide.

  • Removal of slag:

Once carbon reacts with iron the extract reaches the bottom of the furnace. The limestone that is present separates the impurities which are called slag. Since this slag is light-weighted, they remain at the surface level while the pure iron lies in the bottom level. Then the slag is separated and disposed of.

  • Maintaining the blast furnace:

Once this process is over the pure iron that remains in the bottom of the furnace is removed and stored appropriately. It is very important that the furnace is taken proper care of. Samples are taken from the extracted iron and tested to ensure its strength and purity.

Then the purified iron is stored and processed again by reheating it according to the desired shape and structure.

Things that you probably didn’t know about Vertical Turning

In metallurgy, there is something called the turning process. This turning process is of the methods employed in cleaning the material that is placed in the turning machine. There is a swindle that is attached to the turning machine. It has the iron or the metal body and rotates at a speed where the impurities are removed. This is called turning process. So in simple words turning is a material removal process that is used in the iron and other relevant metal industries.

Vertical Turning

There are certain things that the turning process requires:

  • Turning Machine: Turning machine or the lathe is the equipment that is used to clear the unwanted materials out of the way.
  • Cutting tools and Fixture: Cutting tools and Fixtures are required in any manufacturing and industrial process
  • Workpiece: Work Piece is the item on which you are going to work. The product or the metal that requires purification is called the ‘workpiece.’

Classification of turning machine:

The classification of the turning machine is based on the axis in which the swindle moves. So there are broadly two types the vertical type and the horizontal type.

Horizontal is further classified into

  • Horizontal Compact
  • Horizontal High-performance
  • Horizontal Multi-tasking
  • Horizontal Multi-axis
  • Horizontal Twin swindle

Vertical has two types

  • Vertical
  • Vertical Ram Type

There is also another type of classification based on the work a turning machine is capable of doing.

  • Automatic Lathe
  • Semi-automatic lathe
  • Manual Lathe

The types are self-explanatory. As their names suggest, if the machine carries out the work all by itself then it is called automatic lathe, if it can follow some process by itself and looks for your instruction and interference then it is known as semi-automatic. In most of the cases, semi-automatic is also considered as manual. However, in the earlier stages when lathe machines came into existence they were entirely operated manually. There was nothing called semi-automatic.


The process of the turning machine involves the following factors

Load and unload time: the workpiece that the machine works with is going to be heavy thereby there is going to be a separate time consumption for loading and unloading the machine.

Cut time: Cut time is the process that takes place inside the turning machine. The machine cuts and does away with all the unwanted elements stuck to the workpiece.

Idle time: Idle time is when the machine rests and doesn’t work. No matter what the machining process is, there involves some idle time.

Tool replacement time: there might be chances where the tool inside the machine requires replacement, and it has to be done to make sure that the work of the lathe is not interrupted. The time consumed here is called the tool replacement time.

Turning centers:

Now it is not too difficult to comprehend what a turning center is. A place where all the above-stated process takes place is called the turning center. These turning centers are found in large numbers in sectors that are highly involved in iron or some other metal manufacturing activity.

Top 5 Metal Cutting Machines in the Market

Metal Cutting Machines

The ways in which metal can be cut, are largely classified into 3 types, laser method, by using machinery or by using hand tools. Depending on how the expected outcome and the size of the metal that has to be cut, the method of cutting is used. Laser technology and usage of hand tools are methods that are used in extreme points. So using machinery to cut iron is the most widely and commonly used method to cut machinery.

Metal Cutting Machines


Different products require different levels of smoothness of the surface. So depending on that different techniques are employed to cut the metals using machinery. The methods are as follows

  • Grinder: This method is employed when the surface of the product needs to be extremely smooth. The surface of a rough iron mold is rough, so they choose to grind with an abrasive tool that will even out the surface and make it smooth
  • Lathe and Punch: Lathe and Punch both aim at cutting the material into the desired shape but the techniques employed are different. While in lathe employs a sharp tool to carry out the process, in the punch method an extreme amount of pressure is applied to get the iron to a proper shape.
  • Water jet: As the name self-suggests, plain water or water mixed with abrasive compound are gushed onto the surface of the iron at a pressure point that cut the metal into pieces.
  • Flame and Plasma: There is not much of a difference between Flame and Plasma and Waterjet. In waterjet, water is used whereas in Flame, and Plasma flammable gas is used to cut the metal.

The Best 5 Metal cutters are listed below:

Oxy-Fuel Cutting:

Oxy fuel is largely used in cases where the cutting process demands a high level of accuracy as in cutting metal pipes below the ground level. Under this method heat and gas is spewed at the right mixture to make the cutting process easier. Also the flame and as flow in cross-sections so that the gas and heat come out at the right flame

Plasma cutters:

Though they aren’t as accurate as laser cutting, they are to great extent reliable depending on the thickness of the material that has to be cut. The Plasma Cutters are accurate to the extent to which simple measurements are required however the laser takes over when in-depth measurements that demand a maximum level of accuracy are required.

Laser Cutters:

As stated earlier, if a job demands a high level of accuracy the only option that serves the purpose is laser cutting. Laser cutting is one among the advanced techniques that have proven to be highly useful as far as cutting metal are concerned. A beam of light that is no larger than a line is emitted out of these laser machines that cut the metal into pieces. The heat that accompanies the light is above the melting point of the metal.

Laser cutting is the major technology used in metal cutting. They are further classified into two:

CO2 Laser Cutters:

CO2 Laser Cutters include ‘Fastlacer’ technologies that increase the speed of cut, improved the plate capacity and cut quality range. The machine emits gas along with heat, and the light emitted matches the gas flow geometry.

Fibre Laser Cutters:

In Fibre Laser Cutters the cutters emit fiber optic rays, and these cutters are available in 12 different models. Also, the cutters come as single point laser cutters and multi-point laser cutters.